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Review: In Defence of Philanthropy

March 04, 2022

Book_cover_In_Defence_of_PhilanthropyDoes philanthropy really need defending? While never explicitly asked, it’s the question that’s implied throughout Beth Breeze’s treatise In Defence of Philanthropy. You might wonder why this fundraiser-turned-academic feels the need to state, once and for all, what philanthropy is and what it isn’t, to counter notorious examples of bad apples with the concrete and long-lasting good that philanthropy brings, and to encourage space for more philanthropy, not less, as we look for long-term solutions to ever-greater challenges both local and global.

According to the latest report from Giving USA, Americans—individuals, foundations, and corporations—combined to give away $471 billion in 2020, a 5.1 percent increase over the 2019 total. And if the issues of climate change, vaccine development, or supporting historically underserved communities are any measure, philanthropic dollars are doing ever-bolder work. What’s more, even with volunteers staying home in these pandemic times, more people—wealthy or not—are giving more of their treasure than ever before. From that point of view, we just might be living in a golden age of giving....

Read the full review by Daniel X Matz, foundation web development manager at Candid.

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